Multi-million pound plans to transform the heart of Prestwich are one step nearer reality following a ‘summit meeting’ of the main partners yesterday.
Bury Council, the precinct’s owners Hollins Murray Group, developers MUSE, and the CBRE all met to discuss ambitious proposals to regenerate the village’s Longfield Centre, along with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
The council and Muse have now agreed to set up a joint venture company to guide the development, which will help bring in investment from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority as well as the council and its partners. Progress on creating the new company should be well under way by the autumn.
The overall vision is: Prestwich Village – a modern and lively centre with a focus on living, creativity, shopping and enjoying life.
Councillor Rishi Shori, leader of Bury Council, said: “Prestwich is booming. It’s already one of north Manchester’s most affluent and desirable suburbs, with a growing population, foodie culture, excellent public transport and its own identity.
“We’ve just completed the A56 Prestwich High Street regeneration, thanks to substantial investment from the council, City of Trees and TfGM.
“We believe we have a way forward to deliver the next phase of regeneration for Prestwich, focused on the Longfield centre. This will require full commitment from the council and all our partners. With the additional support from the GM Mayor and the town centre challenge initiative, we believe we are making real progress.”
Early design concepts include a hotel, restaurant, shops, a food hall and a number of apartments.
A key element is the provision of community facilities to serve the local population. It is envisaged that this hub will provide healthcare, leisure, a library and community space meeting space.
These designs are at an early stage and their development will be informed by further discussion with partners and the wider community.
Cllr Shori added: “We must be realistic and identify modern ways of regeneration if we are succeed, and the economic viability of the scheme will be key.
“We want to ensure that Prestwich can thrive as a sustainable village centre; with the creation of new jobs, boosting the local economy and helping local and independent businesses to grow. This transformation cannot happen overnight, but with the formation of our new venture company we are heading in the right direction.”
Prestwich has been chosen to take part in the Mayor’s town centre challenge initiative, and Mr Burnham was at today’s meeting to add his support to the development plans.